LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 15, 2013) — From the elementary school gymnasium to rural extension offices around the Commonwealth, the University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts has demonstrated excellence in serving the people of Kentucky.
Just last month, UK Opera Theatre took home the 2013 Friend of Music Award for the Schmidt Opera Outreach Program (SOOP) from the Kentucky Music Educators Association for its service to the state. SOOP is just one of several outreach and service programs provided by the college and the UK Department of Theatre, UK School of Art and Visual Studies and the UK School of Music.
In 2003, UK Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society, under the direction of Professor Everett McCorvey, established an opera outreach and education program. Since 2007, under the new sponsorship of the William E. Schmidt Foundation, the arts have now become accessible to the children of Kentucky through SOOP. Using fairy tales, children's stories and American history, accompanied by the operatic music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gioachino Antonio Rossini, Jacques Offenbach and others, SOOP has introduced more than 120,000 Kentucky students in more than 270 schools and 68 counties to the fundamental components, basic terminology, and the glorious melodies of opera.
With the intent to build tomorrow’s audiences and performers, each school is provided with a thorough study guide that helps teachers prepare the students before the show's arrival and provides activities for students to do before and after the show. The stories typically have a moral or character skill that is incorporated in the message. After each show the cast hosts a “Question and Answer Session,” during which the children have a chance to see how props work, how costumes get changed, and how singers perfect their craft.
To see video of the origins of the SOOP project, click play below.
A transcript for this video can be found here.
In addition to SOOP, UK School of Music is serving Kentuckians from their childhood to their senior years through more than 20 programs. Other outreach programs provided by the school include:
· UK String Project, a program offering affordable weekly class instruction on stringed instruments for children and more recently adults (video for last fall's session can be played below);
· Broadway Bound, a weeklong workshop developing new skills in the performing arts for first through eighth graders presented by UK Opera Theatre and KCTC (Kentucky Classical Theater Conservatory) Summerfest;
· Academy for Creative Excellence, a year-round training program in singing, acting, dancing for the musical theatre performer from first through 12th grade;
· Kentucky Band Camp, a camp with nationally known clinicians and instructors to provide leadership skills and inspire both the new and experienced drum major from UK Bands;
· James Campbell Drumline Camp, a camp for the individual drummer, cymbal player, “pit” percussionist, or the entire drumline;
· Tubas Around the World, a guided world tour performance that introduces elementary to high school students to the music of the United States, France, England, Russia, Italy, Germany, Poland, Nigeria, Brazil, Australia, Mexico and Kentucky, presented by the UK Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble;
· several workshop and concerts dedicated to particular instruments and musicians, including Day of Percussion presented by UK Percussion Studies, Trombone Day presented by the UK Trombone Studio, and Brassfest presented by UK Bands;
· several choral programs and classes including Male Chorus Day for choral ensembles featuring the UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats; "Choral Literature" for advanced high school, college, graduate and pre-professional students; and the Creative Choral Workshop, a clinic for choral directors; and
· several programs for educators including the Keyboard Ensemble and Technology Seminar for collegiate, professional and private piano/music teachers and Orff Schulwerk curriculum workshops.
Details on the various UK School of Music outreach programs can be found at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/outreach. In addition to educational workshops, clinics and classes, UK School of Music offers more than 200 public recitals and concerts with a vast majority of them free to attend.
Like UK School of Music, the UK School of Art and Visual Studies strives to share its talents with the community offering courses and workshops through the UK Fine Arts Institute and the Donovan Scholars Program. Through the Fine Arts Institute, the school provides an assortment of classes and workshops for adults in the community who wish to further their creative skills. Designed to fit into the working schedules of most adults, the noncredit courses range from metal working to digital photography. UK Fine Arts Institute offers courses three times a year geared toward beginners and advanced artists and the students' work is often featured at the school's popular Open Studio event in December.
The UK Fine Arts Institute has become a popular option for locals interested in advancing their art skills. "Since 2008, the Fine Arts Institute has grown to serve around 100 people per session," said Jane Andrus, director of the institute. "The institute allows local artists to interact with community members, to the benefit of both parties. When the School of Art and Visual Studies moves into its new building in 2014, the institute will be able to offer a greater variety of classes and workshops. We look forward to inviting the public into our new, state-of-the-art facilities to make art."
In partnership with the Donovan Scholars, the School of Art and Visual Studies also offers classes in oil painting, drawing, watercolor painting and more for beginners for persons aged 65 and older at UK including opportunities to exhibit their work in one of UK's several galleries.
In addition to giving Donovan Scholars and Fine Arts Institute participants an opportunity to show their work, UK School of Art and Visual Studies provides the community with several free public exhibitions each year by their faculty, staff and students at Barnhart Gallery and Tuska Center for Contemporary Art, as well as Open Studio when the school opens all its classroom and studio spaces to the public to visit. UK art students even helped create Take It Artside, a free public application developed with the Gaines Center for the Humanities, to help Kentuckians find fine arts events in their vicinity with their own smartphone.
A transcript for this video can be found here.
Similar to the UK School of Music and the UK School of Art and Visual Studies, UK Department of Theatre brings the world of theater to many Kentuckians. Focused primarily on the state's children and youth, each year UK Theatre presents several matinees, community performances and touring productions. Through these performances UK Theatre hopes Kentucky's students learn the direct impact that theatre can have on a community.
The UK Department of Theatre, which is now home to UK's dance minor, also offers classes targeting high school and college dancers ages 14 and up. The UK Summer Dance Intensive each year helps experienced dancers grow creatively through college-level contemporary modern dance, ballet, body-conditioning, improvisation and choreography classes. During the program, participants collaborate and create their own dance works in the movement labs. A performance of the choreographic work is presented at the conclusion of the program to family, friends, students and UK community.
In addition to providing programs on campus and touring performances, UK College of Fine Arts can be found year round in some of the state's communities through the Kentucky Fine Arts Extension Program with UK College of Agriculture. Part of the Cooperative Extension Service, the program is responsible for developing and promoting support for arts education and development in Kentucky counties. The Kentucky Fine Arts Extension Program creates opportunities in the arts for citizens that will stimulate creativity, promote participation, and recognize artists, arts educators and arts supporters at all levels and mediums.
Led by dedicated agents in Greenup, Muhlenberg, Pike and Whitley counties, the Kentucky Fine Arts Extension Program supports and develops performing, visual and literary arts; provides life-long learning opportunities in all the arts; expands opportunities for showcasing and publicizing the arts; and plans new structures and facilities and uses existing venues to create a cohesive and dynamic arts culture that is easily accessible to all citizens.
The pioneering extension program in the arts enjoyed critical acclaim for its work only two years into its development when the first county program, Pike Arts, took the Government Award at the Governor's Awards in the Arts in 2007. The award was given for the arts extension program demonstrating the power of the arts in strengthening communities and the economic benefit the arts can provide.
For more information on any of these outreach programs and to learn how the College of Fine Arts can help serve your community, visit http://finearts.uky.edu.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716; firstname.lastname@example.org